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Anti-HS2 campaigner pens ‘poem for Dave’

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A Wendover man’s heartfelt words urging David Cameron to rethink HS2 plans read out by actor Geoffrey Palmer have attracted more than 6,000 web hits.

First time poet Antony Chapman, who is a member of the Wendover Action Group against the development, penned the piece in an effort to set out his argument in a unique way.

And footage of As Time Goes By star Mr Palmer reciting the poem have been seen by more than 6,000 viewers on the Stop HS2 website and Youtube.

He said: “The question that the poem asks is ‘what would it take to make you change your mind?’

“It’s a question that we’ve been wanting to ask the politicians for nearly four years.

“It occurred to me that it would make a good first line for a poem.”

After Antony had written the poem he filmed himself reading it for a Youtube video.

But after his attempts did not have the desired effect, he enlisted the help of Mr Palmer, who performed the words in dramatic style.

Antony, whose home would be around 600 yards from the proposed HS2 tracks, said: “It was recorded with me reading it with complete failure, so we asked Geoffrey Palmer and he agreed to do it.

“Geoffrey’s home would be even closer than mine to it, only a couple of hundred yards.

“Quite apart from the enormous finished thing, the five to seven years of construction would be appalling.”

And Antony has heard that a constituent of Prime Minister David Cameron has sent him the Youtube video of the poem.

Antony said: “It was sent to him but it’s not clear if he has watched it or not.”

To view the video of the poem on Youtube click here

Antony’s poem:

A poem for Dave

What would it take for you to change your mind, Dave?

What would it take for you to face the facts?

A businessman working on a train?

A benefit/cost ratio of less than two?

Empty seats on the West Coast Main Line?

And all for the good of wealthy tycoons

Rushing to visit London.

None of these, it seems.

What would it take for you to change your mind, Dave?

What would it take for you to see the light?

Hundreds of people’s homes demolished

And thousands affected by blight?

Farms and businesses wiped out?

Dozens of ancient woodlands destroyed?

The rape of the beautiful countryside?

Carbon emissions on the rise?

Unbearable noise for tens of thousands?

None of these, it seems.

What would it take for you change your mind, Dave?

What would it take for you to comprehend?

HS1 is a different beast,

Disastrous in so many ways.

Change should be now, not in 20 years.

London will benefit not the north

With many fewer services

For towns and cities off the line.

But none of these matter, it seems.

What would it take for you to change your mind, Dave?

What would it take for you to understand?

Another ten billion on the cost?

No, forty more says the Institute of Economic Affairs

Amber/red from the Major Projects Authority

A damning report from the National Audit Office

“One grand folly” cries the Institute of Directors

“We’re not convinced” says the Public Accounts Committee

“Serious shortcomings” insists the Treasury Select Committee

Ashcroft, Darling, Mandelson, Balls.

Can they all be so easily ignored?

A blinkered view is nothing to be proud of,

Refusing to look at the facts

And preferring fantasy.

For HS2 is wholly vanity.

So what would it take for you to change your mind,

David Cameron

and George Osborne, Patrick McLoughlin, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband ?

Yes, what would it take for you to change your mind?

 

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